Nate Gerbe is IN tonight for the Sabres. Raffi Torres is a healthy scratch.
Norris finalists have just been released – Duncan Keith, Drew Doughty, and Mike Green. Keith is probably the favourite but I have no idea who I’d pick… Green is so polarizing, those who believe the Norris should weigh defensive play more don’t believe he should win, while there are others who believe his numbers are so good that they take care of his mediocore play in the defensive zone.
An early update on the DobberHockey Playoff Pool being run over at Pick Up Hockey… “ross10019” leads the way with 128 points, and there are 10 other teams within eight points. I am nowhere close – two of my teams I picked at complete random to see if I could strike gold.
Erik Karlsson led all Ottawa players in ice time last night with over 40 minutes. What he is doing at his age (and in the playoffs, no less) is absolutely insane. He makes mistakes at times but he isn't losing that cocky edge at all. He gambles and takes chances, and that is refreshing to see from a rookie (unless you are his defensive partner). Karlsson has been very fun to watch so far in this series, as it seems that he and Evgeni Malkin have a little ongoing feud developing.
I attended the Tri-City Americans vs. Vancouver Giants game last night – a bit of a snooze fest, as both teams trapped things up for much of the 60 minutes. The Americans won 5-2, although the score was 3-2 until they fired two into the empty net at the end of the final frame.
Giants defenseman David Musil was great – he is draft eligible in 2011 and looks to be sure-fire top 10 pick. He reminds me a bit of Victor Hedman.
Canuck prospect Kevin Connauton was magical on the PP. He made a few risky/ill-advised passes leaving the defensive zone, but he can walk the line and find shooting lanes very well in the offensive zone.
No forwards on either team really stood out for me too much. James Wright (Giants forward and Tampa Bay prospect) was easily the most dominant with the puck, but he didn't start playing physical until late in the game. He coasted a bit through the first two periods.
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Why are the DobberHockey forums so good? For one, we have intelligent members who get out to lots of WHL/OHL/AHL games and give their thoughts. Here is an example.
Which depth player has impressed you the most thus far in the postseason? For me it has been Peter Regin on Ottawa. I mentioned him a few months ago because of his relationship with Cory Clouston. Often times when AHL coaches are promoted, they bring a favourite or two with them to the big club – Regin got his shot with the Senators in a scoring role because of this, and he hasn't looked back. He started off at center earlier in the season, but is now playing with Spezza and Alfredsson on the top unit. He's hard on the puck and is a fantastic skater, two skills essential for any successful complementary winger. He will be bumped back down the depth chart next season when Milan Michalek returns (for how long though…), but Regin could still be a 40-50 point guy if he sees consistent minutes on either of Ottawa’s power play units.
Kudos to those of you who picked the Flyers to beat the Devils. My predictions have already gone out the window, as New Jersey was my cup winner. Very surprised they put up such a weak fight, especially last night with Philadelphia hurting badly. Martin Brodeur has now lost the last four series he has started.
Does this outcome affect Ilya Kovalchuk's value at all? Even if the Devils were swept and he was pointless, he'd still receive a big payday this summer… but does his mediocre play affect what teams will be willing to offer him come July 1st?
Pascal Leclaire was sensational last night, stopping 56 of 59 shots. Ottawa’s other goalie, Anton Volchenkov stopped 11. This was a huge statement game for Leclaire, but I’d still stay far, far away from him in any fantasy league format for next season.
Why did Philadelphia pay through the nose for Chris Pronger last summer? Last night's stat sheet is all you need to known: close to 30 minutes of ice time, including almost nine on the penalty kill. Six blocked shots, and a plus-1 rating to boot. He was dominant from start to finish against the Devils in this series. There aren't any other teams in the East that boast Philadelphia's one –two defensive punch of Pronger and Kimmo Timonen.
With Carter and Gagne out, Daniel Briere saw close to 19 minutes of ice time. He scored a goal and added an assist. Philadelphia will be leaning heavily on him, Richards, and Giroux to supply offense. They'd like to be able to rely on Hartnell but he still hasn't figured out which net is the opposition's.
Thanks to ESPN for this one… Sidney Crosby has 28 points in his past 10 games, including the regular season. That prorates to 233 points over 82 games…
Matt Carkner with the triple overtime winner last night:
More proof of the NHL's incompetence? Their two examples of 'good goals' are both more blatant kicking attempts than Daniel Sedins the other night in Los Angeles. This rule needs to be changed ASAP. The fact that the NHL tried to get inside the head of Sedin to pretend it understood what he was thinking… wow. The logic is/was baffling. The Foligno kick-in tonight was a bit more blatant, but they dug themselves a hole by disallowing the Sedin goal – as Don Cherry says, the bar is set way too high now.
Ian Laperriere, a member of the 2009-10 Prime Cuts, took a puck off the face last night. What a tough, tough guy. Here is both the clip and post-game interview (he ended up receiving 70 stitches):